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Thread: 1.9 CDTi Swirl Flaps - What, Where, Why and How Much?

  1. #1
    Full Member Leemarksmith's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRi (VXR Styling)

    Engine : Z19DTH (Re-mapped)

    Year : 04

    Mileage : 140k

    Lightbulb 1.9 CDTi Swirl Flaps - What, Where, Why and How Much?

    The number of inquiries regarding the swirl flaps on the 1.9 CDTi 16V engines (engine codes Z19DTH and Z19DTJ) seem to be on the increase. This post aims to answer most of the commonly asked questions about these parts.

    What are swirl flaps?


    • The swirl flaps are small, square pieces of metal that are mounted in several ports of the intake manifold. There are two possible positions for these to be in - across the port, which blocks the flow of air into the engine - or inline with the port which allows air to flow into the engine.





    • There are two ports for each cylinder on the 1.9 CDTi through which air can flow into the engine. One introduces a 'swirl' motion to the air as it enters the cylinder. This swirl ensures the fuel burns more evenly and thoroughly, reducing emissions and producing more power. The other port is a more direct path into the cylinder, which allows maximum air flow for greater power at high revs and a more freely revving engine.




    (Diagram from Pierburg service bulletin SI0093)


    • At low revs, the 'direct' port must be closed or blocked by the flap, otherwise all of the fuel injected into the cylinder will not be burnt, meaning increased smoke and soot from the exhaust. This is because the incoming air has insufficient 'swirl', as the air takes the easier path into the engine through the 'direct' port that should be blocked off.



    • At high revs, both ports are open to allow the maximum amount of air into the cylinder. If the swirl flap remains closed, the air charge in the cylinder is reduced, causing more black smoke and reduced performance.



    • A motor is mounted underneath the manifold that operates the swirl flaps - it moves the flap on no.3 cylinder directly, a rod on top of the manifold transfers this motion to the other cylinders.



    Why do the swirl flaps fail?



    • Due to the EGR valve that is fitted to the majority of modern diesel engines, a proportion of exhaust gas is recycled back through the engine to reduce emissions. This means the soot that is present in the exhaust gas coats all of the components in the intake manifold. This soot mixes with oil mist that is also found in the intake system, and forms a tar like substance.



    • The build-up of tar and soot causes the flaps to stick. The bearings the flaps run in also wear due to uneven loading. Eventually, the excess load on the operating rod and ball joints cause them to become oval shaped and loose, leading to the operating rod coming adrift.



    • Due to the wear in the bearings, pressurised air from the manifold can escape, along with soot and oil mist, leading to reduced performance and also an oily mess on the manifold.


    I've found the operating rod adrift from the swirl flaps - what now?


    • You can refit the rod to the swirl flaps, but if it has got to the stage where it is falling off by itself, due to vibration from the engine, it will not stay on for long.



    • A temporary repair can be made by sticking rubber washers onto the underside of the cups on the operating rod. The hole in the middle of the washers are sized so they are a push-fit over the ball-joints on the swirl flaps. This makes the operating rod a much more secure fit, but still allows free movement. See this thread for one possible fix.



    • In the long term, the only permanent fix is to replace the complete intake manifold assembly. The manufacturer of the manifold (Pierburg) has made modification to the bearings in which the swirl flaps move - this should result in increased lifespan of the manifold, and prevent future recurrence of the problem. Time will tell!


    How do I know if I have a 'modified' inlet manifold?


    • Somewhere on the manifold, should be a bar-coded sticker which shows the manufacturers part number of the manifold.




    The original part number is 7.0186.00.0 or 7.00373.1.0.0

    The modified part number is
    7.00373.12.0




    What are other symptoms of failed swirl flaps?


    Engine management light may be on, and the following codes may be stored:-

    P1109 - Swirl Actuator Malfunction
    Cause:- Stiff/sticking swirl flaps overloading or stalling the drive module motor.

    P2279 - Intake system air leak detected
    Cause:- Charge air pressure in manifold leaking through worn swirl flap bearings.

    There may be other symptoms whilst driving, such as lumpy running, hesitation and poor fuel economy, and an oily fume smell inside the car whilst the engine is running.


    What's it going to cost to fix?

    Vauxhall Part numbers and prices.

    Below is the list of parts required under the TSB (technical service bulletin) and current retail prices (+ VAT).

    1 x Manifold - 55210201 £197
    1 x Manifold Gasket - 93179058 £12.90
    1 x EGR gasket - 93181665 £2.80
    1 x Throttle body gasket - 55205453 £2.01
    1 x Swirl actuator - 55205127 £159
    1 x Sealer/Locking compound - 90542117 £9.55
    1 x Actuator arm - 93186274 £6.50
    1 x HP fuel pipe - 55215517 £30.75
    1 x HP pump pulley nut - 93178824 £2.63
    1 x HP pump pulley washer - 93178879 £0.12
    12 x Manifold nuts - 93178880 £0.35 each

    Total is
    £635.04 retail with VAT

    Mainfolds often come up for sale on eBay at between £150 and £170+postage.

    The official Vauxhall labour time to replace the intake manifold is 3 hours. More labour may be charged if the cambelt is changed at the same time.

    Assuming a typical labour rate of £70 per hour+VAT

    (3 x 70) + 17.5% = £246.75 inc VAT.

    Total including parts and labour -
    £746.17 inc VAT.


    Further Information

    The manufacturer of the intake manifold, Pierburg, has produced a technical service bulletin regarding the issues with the swirl flaps.

    This bulletin can be found at
    http://www.ms-motor-service.com/ximages ... en_web.pdf


    Video of the swirl flap check





    Original thread can be found here: Thanks to Gairo on the West Midlands Vauxhall Owners forum
    Last edited by Leemarksmith; 22nd March 2013 at 13:05.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    Vehicle : vauxhall vivaro

    Trim : Basic

    Engine : 1.9

    Year : 2004

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    Spot on post mate

    but maybe worth re doing the maths or pointing out to people that VAT is now charged at 20%

    so will have an increased effect on the pricing

  3. #3
    Admin & Membership Manager bigmac's Avatar
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    Vehicle : insignia

    Trim : irmscher

    Engine : 2.0 cdti

    Year : 2009

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    Good post Made it a sticky.

    Irmscher Insignia CDTI 130

    MOD'S...Irmscher front spoiler, Irmscher mats, Irmscher door pins, Irmscher rear spoiler, Irmscher grille, Irmscher skirt & exhausts,Irmscher Roof spoiler MOD'S TO COME..Side skirts,Wheels

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    Vehicle : wauxhall

    Trim : vectra

    Engine : 1.9ctdi

    Year : 2005

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    Maybe this gonna help www.swirlrepair.com I fit them and they are okay.

  5. #5
    Full Member Lao's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C Estate Automatic

    Trim : Elegance

    Engine : Z19DTH

    Year : 2005

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    Can I contribute with a little video here?


  6. #6
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRI

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI [150]

    Year : 06

    Mileage : 58750

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    When was the updated manifold introduced?
    Only the car i bought was sold as having 'new style swirl valves' however on inspection there's no barcode plate anywhere on the manifold.
    I do have some receipts dated 2010 for a replacement manifold and other bits.. just wondering if that's it.

  7. #7
    Full Member Lao's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Vectra C Estate Automatic

    Trim : Elegance

    Engine : Z19DTH

    Year : 2005

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    Take a good photo of the swirl bar and we'll tell you what kind you have. Make sure at least one little black plastic thing is in focus.

  8. #8
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRI

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI [150]

    Year : 06

    Mileage : 58750

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lao View Post
    Take a good photo of the swirl bar and we'll tell you what kind you have. Make sure at least one little black plastic thing is in focus.
    Righty then.. here ya go..

    DSC00141_zps44dfb2df.jpg

    DSC00140_zps860687e4.jpg

    DSC00138_zps95ce712f.jpg

    DSC00137_zpsea6df412.jpg

  9. #9
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    Vehicle : Vectra

    Trim : SRI

    Engine : 1.9 CDTI [150]

    Year : 06

    Mileage : 58750

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    Ay ideas or aren't my pics clear enough... I can try and get some more, or zoom in on the rotors

  10. #10
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    Vehicle : Vectra C

    Trim : Club

    Engine : Z19DTH

    Year : 2005

    Mileage : 74000

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    Can I just ask - when you have had this done, can you feel the car judder a little when the flap opens whilst accelerating?

    For ages now I've been suspicious of my boost sensor being duff - probably the temperature side as looks cooked and wasn't replaced at the time...

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